Learn about the UKCAT exam
If you have ever tried to apply for a medical degree in the United Kingdom, I bet you must have heard about the UKCAT. So what is the UKCAT? The UK clinical aptitude test (UKCAT) is a test that was established after universities expressed concerns about the increasing difficulty in selecting fairly from a high number of achieving students. The test was established in 2006 by the admission tutors board of UK universities. The primary goals of the UKCAT are to:
- Demonstrate a greater degree of fairness in student selection by helping schools discriminate between candidates with equivalent qualifications
- Open up opportunities for participation in medical and dental training of underrepresented social groups
- Identify the characteristics in applicants which will make them good doctors and dentists
The UKCAT has a contract with Pearson VUE, which assists in delivering the test to 25,000 candidates every year. Over the years, the UKCAT consortium has been committed to fairness in the selection of medical students across Europe and around the world. The UKCAT helps in gauging the dedication that a candidate has in joining the medical school. It also saves universities the time they would use to interview each student wishing to take clinical studies. On the side of the applicants, the test gives them a score before they make the final decision to join medical school. The test is a good chance for a candidate to know whether he or she has a chance at success in the clinical field.
Under the UKCAT consortium, there are other tests given to students applying for clinical studies. For instance, the Situational Judgment Test for Admission to Clinical Education (SJTace) is used for entry to the Scottish Graduate Entry Medical Programme (ScotGEM). The test is designed for students who show appropriate professional behaviors required for new doctors to be successful I the clinical field. The other test is the UKCAT Humanitas, which is a compulsory entry requirement for non-EU applicants to the first year of medicine degree course at Humanitas University.
The UKCAT can get candidates admissions to the top universities in the United Kingdom with recognized clinical degrees worldwide. Some of the universities that require candidates to sit for UKCAT include the university of Aberdeen, university of Birmingham, university of Liverpool, university of Edinburgh, Aston University, university of Manchester, and many more.
Now that you know what the UKCAT is, you must be wondering, “What do I need to do to qualify for the test?” in order to qualify to sit the UKCAT, a candidate must meet the academic requirements needed to enter medical school. A candidate needs at least five GCSEs at grades A* or A, including English and mathematics. The candidate must also have a minimum of three AAA levels in chemistry and either biology, physics, and mathematics, plus another subject. In short, you must have qualified from the high school level to gain entry into the clinical field.
The test is taken in designated locations across all the countries that participate. On the day of the test, the candidates must avail themselves 15 minutes earlier. Some of the requirements include the printout of the confirmation email from Pearson VUE, one piece of approved photographic identification that meets the requirements of the country where the test is taken. The candidates are also expected to have familiarized themselves with the UKCAT consortium examination rules.
What is needed for one to pass the UKCAT? First, the test is divided into five subtests i.e. verbal reasoning, decision-making, quantitative reasoning, abstract reasoning, and situational judgment. The Situational judgment test is taken separately. However, the maximum score one can receive in the other four tests is 3600. Each test is scored from 300-900. Most candidates score between 500-700 points. Therefore, having a score of at least 2800 points means that you have passed the test and can now get admission to a UK university to study clinical medicine.